Central Park

On the morning of our second day in NYC the intense heat wave broke which made for this, our 3rd day, the ideal summer day; lovely and warm but not suffocatingly hot. It was the perfect day to take a long stroll through Central Park.  Given that 37+ million visitors enjoy Central Park every year, seemingly any visit to the city should definitely include time well-spent exploring the park.

Central Park
Pedicabs at the ready in Central Park.
Day 3 in the Big Apple

I believe we logged a total of nine miles of walking on Day 3 in the Big Apple.  Our day started out with a walk from the Library Hotel to our next lovely accommodations, The Hotel Elysee.  Once checked in and settled, we headed out for a day of exploration, visiting a few of our favorite places including, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim (a new experience) and lunch at Jacob’s Pickles.  And, of course the day was capped off with a lovely stay in the warmth and charm of the Hotel Elysee.

Central Park

It’s fantastic, Central Park.  I mean, think about it.  The park encompasses 843 acres right smack in the middle of a city with a population of eight million people.  It’s a huge park!  And, it’s lovely!  Central Park has everything one could want in a park.  And, with such glorious weather we were not surprised to see so many New Yorkers out and about taking in the joy of the day, finding shaded space on the grass, or basking in the bright sunshine while reading, napping, and/or picnicking.  Children playing on the playground or giggling at the antics of the animals in the zoo was fun to see, but probably not as much fun as the children were having.

Central Park
Sweethearts and families alike rowing on the lake in Central Park.

We took our time as we ambled along the trails trying to take in all of the sites. There were Flamenco dancers moving with artistry and sweethearts rowing boats across the pond.  Pedicabs by the dozens peddled along with the guides pointing out the sites to their passengers, and of course the classic horse drawn carriages of Central Park.  Both the pedicabs and the horse drawn carriages are quite pricey.  Luckily, for our wallets, we always prefer to walk.  That, and I have this thing about not riding in horse drawn carriages.

Pickled Veggies on Amsterdam Ave

We ambled back and forth and sideways all day long as we navigated in and out of the park to make our way to The Metropolitan Museum of Art and to the Guggenheim Museum, as well as over to Amsterdam Ave to have lunch at Jacob’s Pickles.  This is in no way a paid plug for Jacob’s, we just really like the food.  Not only do they make their own pickled veggies, the fried chicken and biscuits is to die for.  Or, brunch on Sunday is amazing, we’ve done that too.  Bring your appetite because the portions are more than ample.  But, that’s what take out is for, right? It is not a quiet cozy place, just sayin, but it’s oh so good.

Jacob's Pickles
Homemade pickled veggies at Jacob’s Pickles. Yum!
Versailles at The Met

Being a huge fan of Versailles, I was beyond happy to discover there was an exhibition at The Met – Visitors to Versailles.  One of my most cherished travel memories is of our day spent at Versailles.  We visited the Palace in January so it was freezing cold, but the sky was clear and the sun was shining.  Versailles is definitely best experienced in the off season, no crowds.

During the sale of the royal family furniture at Versailles in 1793 – 1794 this chair was purchased by Minister Governor Morris who shipped it to his estate in what is now known as The Bronx, New York. The chair was recently reupholstered with a reproduction of the original material. Let all of that soak in for a minute. Man, I love history!

The exhibition was all kinds of fabulous and the audio tour was excellent.  Want to know how excellent?  As I was walking along through the exhibition and listening to the voices and sounds of Versailles (in stereo headphones) I heard someone talking over my right shoulder and it startled me.  I had to laugh at myself because what I heard was the voice whispering to me as part of the audio tour.  Yep, it was that clear.  I consider us very fortunate to have visited Versailles and would do so again in a heartbeat.  Don’t ever miss an opportunity to visit the palace.

The Guggenheim

But I digress.  The Versailles exhibit was, as I said, all kinds of fabulous. Our first visit to the nearby Guggenheim Museum however, was… shall we say, interesting?  Actually, it was.  Any time art can generate a conversation or a puzzling expression, or a giggle, or a moment of awe, I figure it’s a win.

Artist: Alberto Giacometti (1901 – 1966)

If I remember correctly, at the Guggenheim there are two permanent collections and several other rotating collections.  On the day of our visit the visiting exhibition was the work of the artist, Alberto Giacometti (1901 – 1966).  He studied and sculpted the human form for 40+ years.  There were 175 pieces of his work on display and while I cannot say I understood most of it, it was interesting, and it definitely sparked conversation.

“The best introduction to art is to stroll through a museum. The more art you see, the more you’ll learn to define your own taste.”  – Jeanne Frank

Central Park
Inside the Guggenheim Museum, which is an artistic showplace on its own.
A Night of Old-World Charm

By the time we had worn ourselves out, and were ready for happy hour, we declared Day 3 to be a winner.  A good long walk through a beautiful park, an excellent exhibition at The Met, an interesting visit to the Guggenheim and a ridiculously yummy lunch, it all made for a grand day.  And, boy were we ready to sit back and relax, which is exactly what we did.

What we loved about the Hotel Elysee was the feeling of warmth and charm with a little dash of Parisian flair.  From the moment we walked in we felt welcome.  The reception area is unique and bold and vibrant, but yet subtle in its grandness.

Welcome to the Hotel Elysee!

We didn’t even make it out to dinner that evening, we were so full from our late lunch, happy hour was just what we needed.  Mimosas for me and white wine for Abi, a plate of wonderful nibbles including cheese, crackers, olives, nuts, etc., and a comfortable sofa in the Club Room with a window view overlooking the street scene below.  We were happy.  And, when you’re happy, why move?

A comfortable sitting area in the Club Room.

Our room was spacious and comfortable and appointed with every amenity one could possibly need, including bottled water, soaps, shampoos and lotions, plush robes and slippers, and of course delicious chocolate bites with turn down service.  Seriously, what more could one ask for in accommodations?  It was sweet dreams for us as we fell asleep whispering about what adventures the next day would bring.

Our lovely and comfortable room made for sweet dreams.
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